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Laptop Hard drive dead? :(


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#1
owen5

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Hi, hopefully I've posted in the right place? Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to answer my silly questions!!

I have an Advent Roma 2000 laptop running W7 Home Premium. It's just over 2 years old, so unfortunately is out of warranty. Recently it decided to stop booting up. It powers on ok, and shows the Advent "splash" screen, but that's about it. It won't launch Windows - instead the screen goes black.
I have tried the F options for recovery boot or setup - neither of these work. The BIOS option does, and the hard drive is recognised.

Firstly, I would appreciate some advice on how to tell for sure whether the issue is the hard drive.
Secondly, assuming it is, I would be grateful for some ideas on what to do next.

Thanks again,
Owen.
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#2
phillpower2

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:welcome: owen5
Couple of suggestions for you;
1: Try booting into Safe Mode by tapping F8 while you are attempting to boot up, no joy;
2: Try pressing the Fn and the F4 keys together in case the notebook has been toggled to external screen mode by accident, no joy;
3: Try hooking the notebook up to an external screen using the VGA port, again you will need to press the Fn and F4 keys to toggle to external screen mode.
Let us know how you get on with the above.
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#3
owen5

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:welcome: owen5
Couple of suggestions for you;
1: Try booting into Safe Mode by tapping F8 while you are attempting to boot up, no joy;
2: Try pressing the Fn and the F4 keys together in case the notebook has been toggled to external screen mode by accident, no joy;
3: Try hooking the notebook up to an external screen using the VGA port, again you will need to press the Fn and F4 keys to toggle to external screen mode.
Let us know how you get on with the above.


Hi, and thanks for replying.

I've tried all of the above; no joy unfortunately. The screen is "on" but is blank, except every now and again a _ cursor appears in the top left hand side - almost as if it's waiting for something.......
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#4
phillpower2

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Thanks for the additional info :thumbsup:

Couple of questions for you;
1: Do you have or can you borrow a Windows 7 disk.
2: Do you have data on the HDD that you wish to secure.
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#5
owen5

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Thanks for the additional info :thumbsup:

Couple of questions for you;
1: Do you have or can you borrow a Windows 7 disk.
2: Do you have data on the HDD that you wish to secure.


I have to admit to being a bit of an idiot here........
I didn't realise when I bought the laptop that I had to create a set of recovery disks, so I don't have any. I may be able to get hold of a W7 disk, but unfortunately I don't have a product key - it was on a sticker on the bottom of the laptop, but it's worn off!! :blush:
As for stuff on the HDD - I don't think there was much on there - it's my son's, so nothing particularly important. I wouldn't mind seeing if it's possible to recover what's there, but it's not essential.

What I would like to do is to find out what's wrong and get it back up and running, but only to be used as a spare - mainly for internet, streaming movies etc. I don't want to spend a load of money on it (other than probably having to replace the HDD)

Edited by owen5, 03 April 2012 - 03:53 PM.

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#6
phillpower2

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First thing to do is check for and secure any important data on the HDD in case it is failing;
Please note that the screenshots shown may not be identical as they are being updated.

Use Puppy Linux Live CD to Recover Your Data:

===================
***Required Hardware***
CD Burner (CDRW) Drive,
Blank CD,
Extra Storage Device (USB Flash Drive, External Hard Drive)

===================

1. Save these files to your Desktop/Burn Your Live CD:
  • Download Latest Puppy Linux ISO (i.e.: lupu-520.iso)
    Download BurnCDCC ISO Burning Software

  • Open BurnCDCC with Windows Explorer
  • Extract All files to a location you can remember
  • Double Click Posted Image BurnCDCC
  • Click Browse Posted Image and navigate to the Puppy Linux ISO file you just downloaded
  • Open/Double Click that file
    IMPORTANT: Adjust the speed bar to CD: 4x DVD: 1x
  • Click Start Posted Image
  • Your CD Burner Tray will open automatically
  • Insert a blank CD and close the tray
  • Click OK
Puppy Linux Live CD will now be created
2. Set your boot priority in the BIOS to CD-ROM first, Hard Drive Second
  • Start the computer/press the power button
  • Immediately start tapping the appropriate key to enter the BIOS, aka "Setup"
    (Usually shown during the "Dell" screen, or "Gateway" Screen)
  • Once in the BIOS, under Advanced BIOS Options change boot priority to:
    CD-ROM 1st, Hard Drive 2nd
  • Open your ROM drive and insert the disk
  • Press F10 to save and exit
  • Agree with "Y" to continue
  • Your computer will restart and boot from the Puppy Linux Live CD

    Posted Image

3. Recover Your Data
  • Once Puppy Linux has loaded, it is actually running in your computer's Memory (RAM). You will see a fully functioning Graphical User Interface similar to what you normally call "your computer". Internet access may or may not be available depending on your machine, so it is recommended you print these instructions before beginning. Also, double clicking is not needed in Puppy. To expand, or open folders/icons, just click once. Puppy is very light on resources, so you will quickly notice it is much speedier than you are used to. This is normal. Ready? Let's get started.

    3a. Mount Drives
  • Click the Mount Icon located at the top left of your desktop. Posted Image
  • A Window will open. By default, the "drive" tab will be forward/highlighted. Click on Mount for your hard drive.
  • Assuming you only have one hard drive and/or partition, there may be only one selection to mount.
  • USB Flash Drives usually automatically mount upon boot, but click the "usbdrv" tab and make sure it is mounted.
  • If using an external hard drive for the data recovery, do this under the "drive" tab. Mount it now.
3b. Transfer Files.
  • At the bottom left of your desktop a list of all hard drives/partitions, USB Drives, and Optical Drives are listed with a familiar looking hard drive icon.
  • Open your old hard drive i.e. sda1
  • Next, open your USB Flash Drive or External Drive. i.e. sdc or sdb1
  • If you open the wrong drive, simply X out at the top right corner of the window that opens. (Just like in Windows)
  • From your old hard drive, drag and drop whatever files/folders you wish to transfer to your USB Drive's Window.
For The Novice: The common path to your pictures, music, video, and documents folders is: Documents and Settings >> All Users (or each idividual name of each user. CHECK All Names!) >> Documents >> You will now see My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos.

Remember to only click once! No double clicking! Once you drag and drop your first folder, you will notice a small menu will appear giving you the option to move or copy. Choose COPY each time you drag and drop.

YOU ARE DONE!!! Simply click Menu >> Mouse Over Shutdown >> Reboot/Turn Off Computer. Be sure to plug your USB Drive into another working windows machine to verify all data is there and transferred without corruption. Congratulations!

Posted Image

Posted Image

If you're doing this to recovery from a virus or malware infection, (or even if you're not), DO NOT copy executable files (.exe, .scr. etc...) if any of these files are infected you could be copying the corruption over to any new device/computer. just copy documents, pictures, music, or videos.

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#7
owen5

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Ok, thanks. I'll have a look at this over the next couple of days and let you know how I get on :thumbsup:
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#8
phillpower2

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Ok reply when you are able to and we can move on to testing the HDD, it is important to secure your data first though as the testing purposely stresses the HDD to see how it holds up, below is the instructions for HDD testing should you have time to also do this over the next couple of days.

Run the HDDs diagnostics tool;

Make sure you select the tool that is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive http://www.tacktech....ay.cfm?ttid=287
Depending on the program it'll create a bootable floppy or a bootable CD.
If the downloaded file is the .iso type use ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/ to burn the .iso file to a CD (select "Write image file to disc" option) and make the CD bootable.

Good luck with the above.
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#9
owen5

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Perfect, thanks. I'll be back in touch soon......
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#10
phillpower2

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:thumbsup:
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#11
owen5

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Ok, I've got as far as 3a, but am having trouble mounting my hard drive - the only drive that it shows is my CDDVDW. There is one tab titled "optical" - no "drive" tab - I assume this means that it doesn't recognise the hard drive i.e. it is in fact dead?? :upset:
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#12
phillpower2

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Ok, I've got as far as 3a, but am having trouble mounting my hard drive - the only drive that it shows is my CDDVDW. There is one tab titled "optical" - no "drive" tab - I assume this means that it doesn't recognise the hard drive i.e. it is in fact dead?? :upset:


It would appear so, we can however look at other options but please be aware that if the HDD is 100% bad that there is no fix available for that.
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#13
owen5

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It would appear so, we can however look at other options but please be aware that if the HDD is 100% bad that there is no fix available for that.


That's fine, I understand that. I'm happy to try whatever you think is sensible.

If it is truly dead I would appreciate any advice on what to do next....
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#14
phillpower2

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Ok if the HDD is indeed dead then there is nothing you can do about that, as you do not have an installation disk you will need to burn a W7 Recovery disk on another computer so we can see if this is an OS issue, see http://www.sevenforu...isc-create.html and then follow the guide @ http://www.sevenforu...ry-options.html

Let us know how you get on with the above and good luck.
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#15
owen5

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Ok if the HDD is indeed dead then there is nothing you can do about that, as you do not have an installation disk you will need to burn a W7 Recovery disk on another computer so we can see if this is an OS issue, see http://www.sevenforu...isc-create.html and then follow the guide @ http://www.sevenforu...ry-options.html

Let us know how you get on with the above and good luck.


Ok, I've done this. I wasn't sure which option to go with so I chose Startup Repair - this didn't work unfortunately - apparently the MBR (Master Boot Record?) is corrupt.

Did I choose the correct option, or should I have picked something else?
Assuming the issue is a corrupt MBR can you advise how to fix it?

Thanks for all your help so far :)
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